Odds ‘n Ends > ThreeA Microman, Boba Fett movie, Power-Con

Quite frankly, I trust Joe Johnston to make a great Boba Fett movie more than I trust Abrams to make a great Star Wars movie.

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  • After first announcing they’d obtained the Microman license way back in July 2011(!), ThreeA has finally revealed photos of the figures (or photos were leaked, I’m not sure). They’re 6″ tall and feature fabric clothes, like most ThreeA releases. They look intriguing, and it’s cool that they’re in 6″ scale, but I’m sure they’ll come with the usual high ThreeA prices and besides, I’m not a Microman fan anyway (well, except for a brief, odd period in 2004). However, I should note that in this particular case, the cloth isn’t what’s keeping me away – ThreeA is the only company whose fabric I like in sub-12″ scale. It’s the license and, presumably, the cost.
  • Let’s start by pointing out that this all comes from Latino Review. I have no idea what their reputation is at this point, but some of the people I follow on Twitter were very snarky about them, so maybe they’re known for being wrong a lot. I don’t know and I don’t care right now because this is so interesting and I want to talk about it. A lot.
  • Anyway, Latino Review claims Joe Johnston – director of The RocketeerJurassic Park IIICaptain America and oh yeah, the guy who designed Fett’s outfit (with Ralph McQuarrie) – may be in talks to direct the Boba Fett spinoff movie. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and is writing Episode VII, is allegedly in talks to write it. But what gets me is this quote: “To counter-act the prequels, the Boba Fett spin-off movie planned for 2018 has an interesting twist pitched by Episode VII writer Lawrence Kasdan: the spin-off will start with a complete stranger killing Boba Fett and taking his armor, starting a Man-With-No-Name bounty hunter tale. So: someone kills the Boba Fett from the prequels and takes his armor and name. One this is for certain is that Kasdan didn’t like the prequel and wants no Boba Fett Clone in the spin-off film.” Does anyone? Maybe kids who have grown up with the character from The Clone Wars, which is one of several reasons I expect George Lucas to veto the idea if it’s actually at all in play. Can he still veto things? (Side note: Latino Review doesn’t understand Internet Star Wars fans very well if it starts off a rumor about killing off the prequel Boba Fett with “Strap in, a lot of you aren’t going to like this.”)
  • But here’s the funny thing about that killing-prequel-Fett-at-the-beginning-of-the-movie: I pitched this exact idea to Nemo Eight in a discussion we had last month. I even argued with him that the killing had to happen at the beginning of the movie and not the end; he liked the “surprise horror twist” of killing Fett suddenly at the end, whereas I pitched a Usual Suspects-type thing where you find out at the end that prequel Fett was killed at the beginning and the guy who you’ve been watching the whole time isn’t prequel Fett. Anyway, chalk me up for hoping this rumor is entirely true.
  • On another note, that article also states that Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt, who’s now off Star Wars Episode VII, was focused on the story of the Solo kids while Abrams (and Kasdan) felt it should focus on Skywalker. This is yet another example of something that makes me highly suspicious of Abrams. Han Solo was the audience representative in the original films – something that was sorely lacking in the prequels. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I don’t like Jedi that much – this article covers some of the reasons why. I know it’s a geek cliché to claim some showrunner or producer doesn’t “get” a geek property. And Abrams is actually the perfect successor for Lucas in certain ways – they’re both obsessed with effects and mechanics. Abrams’ work has always reminded me of Treebeard describing Saruman: “he has a mind of metal and wheels.” To me, Abrams’s films fall somewhere between Spielberg and Zack Snyder – great overall concepts, well-directed, great action, but lacking in emotion, real characters, or compelling themes. Lacking heart. Even Super 8 felt like that to me. Abrams’s Star Trek films were fun but forgettable (and the second had some annoying fan service and lazy writing). Quite frankly, I trust Joe Johnston to make a great Boba Fett movie more than I trust Abrams to make a great Star Wars movie.
  • Power Con is moving from Anaheim to New York City. That’s big news, but what I’m more curious about is what “transforming back to its core roots” means. Does that mean Ninja Turtles and Thundercats have been given the boot? (You may also be wondering: am I going? Answer: Maybe. Not sure yet.)
  • There will be a Glyos drop tonight at 9:30 EST. Check out the link for the full list of products.
  • Spy Monkey Creations has updated the story of The Golden Age for the Weaponeers of Monkaa ahead of an upcoming new drop.
  • In the course of following various Twitter conversations I came across the H Hangar by Wave. It’s designed for Gundam figures, but I immediately saw the potential for Star Wars Black 6″ dioramas as a corner of the Death Star or a Star Destroyer. Because they’re only 6″ tall, you really need two, which I immediately ordered from HLJ.

Interview > Brian-Man of Spy Monkey Creations, Part III

This is Part III of a multiple-part interview with Brian “Brian-Man” Stevenson of Spy Monkey Creations, conducted by PGPoA contributor VENENOR, about SMC’s brand-new toy line, the Weaponeers of Monkaa. You can read Part I here and Part II here. –PG

VENENOR: It’s great that fans of the Weaponeers are taking to the evolution of the Crystal Gohlem. At the end of the Prologue we saw that the revived Crystal Gohlem accompanied the Stranger back to his world. I’m looking forward for that tale and the story’s progression. I’m especially interested since it could lead to a much more evolved version where he ultimately becomes fully Gearo.

Now, can you give us an insider’s view on the development process starting with the concept stage leading up to final product?

BRIAN STEVENSON: The entire process took around 5 months. That’s from initial concepts to final product on the table at Power-Con. In the early days of Spy Monkey Creations we wanted to make figures. They were going to be 3¾” scale and similar to the JLU figures. We scrapped that idea because it was going to be too centered on customization. There really didn’t seem to be that many customizers out that could keep a line like that alive. From there the fantasy based weapons came about after demands from fans saw the early custom weapons we made for ourselves. Those did very well but as a company we just didn’t feel comfortable surviving by only producing swords and shields for He-Man figures. There are companies and groups out there, like ours, which fit into this mold as a third party company making stuff for other toylines. We just didn’t want to rely too heavily on another company and solely continue being third party because we wanted to build our own cohesive toyline. In order for us to really grow and become something that isn’t considered third party we decided to take our next step. Continue reading “Interview > Brian-Man of Spy Monkey Creations, Part III”

Interview > Brian-Man of Spy Monkey Creations, Part II

This is Part II of a multiple-part interview with Brian “Brian-Man” Stevenson of Spy Monkey Creations, conducted by PGPoA contributor VENENOR, about SMC’s brand-new toy line, the Weaponeers of Monkaa. You can read Part I here. –PG

VENENOR: The suggested builds you’ve posted so far are very cool, especially alongside the characters. One thing with this launch that I really like is the included trading cards. They look really great and differ from what I’ve seen from similar lines that go with the header cards attached to the bags.

BRIAN STEVENSON: A lot times those headers get tossed so we wanted to provide something different with the artwork of these figures. We’re very fortunate to be friends with some amazing artists and illustrators that have different skill sets than we do. Their help and collaboration on this line has really helped the look and feel for these characters. Continue reading “Interview > Brian-Man of Spy Monkey Creations, Part II”

Interview > Brian-Man of Spy Monkey Creations, Part I

It was over a year ago when I last spoke with the Spy Monkey crew, and the seeds were being planted for their venture into overseas-produced toys with their original Armory set. Going from their in-house resin weapons to injection-molded PVC weapons with interchangeable parts was just the beginning. On October 1, they released their very first lineup of action figures – the Weaponeers of Monkaa.

I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the toy-forging machines, Brian “Brian-Man” Stevenson. This will be Part I of the conversation with Brian that should give you all more insight into the line and more than a few possibilities going forward. Continue reading “Interview > Brian-Man of Spy Monkey Creations, Part I”

Sponsored Review > The Weaponeers of Monkaa (Spy Monkey Creations)

My association with Spy Monkey Creations goes back three years ago, when I first reviewed the Master Blade of the Empyrean and the Witching Axe of Ruination. Since those early efforts, Spy Monkey Creations has grown from a small outfit of three devoted fans making toys in a basement to a full-fledged independent toy operation with factory production overseas.

Continue reading “Sponsored Review > The Weaponeers of Monkaa (Spy Monkey Creations)”

Sightings > Weaponeers of Monkaa

The rumors have been percolating for months now, and Spy Monkey Creations is finally starting to reveal their much-anticipated new line. Titled Weaponeers of Monkaa, the line has teased two factions called “Gearos” and “Vilhains” and, as seems obvious, the line will feature actual action figures in addition to weapons.

From SMC’s announcement:

The Mysterious Armory. Behold it’s myriad of colors, powers, and configurations. Where did it come from? Why is it here? Who or What is responsible for arming the cosmos with such powerful weapons?

Well, we at Spy Monkey Creations are about to reveal the answers to those very questions this fall! The answers have some wondrous new surprises. Join us at www.weaponeersofmonkaa.com and the following link every Monday thru Thursday at 9am PST beginning Monday, September 3rd and ending on Wednesday, September 19th. Each day we will reveal a new chapter in “THE STRANGER’S TALE” as he embarks on a grand adventure of discovery and action.

Then on Saturday, September 22nd join the entire Spy Monkey Creations crew at Power-Con as we reveal everything The Stranger will witness and encounter in the coming weeks. It is sure to awe and amaze.

“We are the architects of the cosmos. That destiny must be forged wisely.”

I don’t have any inside information, but my suspicion is that the line will continue to offer interchangeable, multi-part weapons that are compatible with your other action figures, but the weapons will be integrated with a Glyos-style action figure line featuring a full backstory.

The concept seems really interesting, but of course, the proof will be in the plastic, so to speak. We’ll find out soon enough.

 

Sponsored Review > Spy Monkey Armory: Solid State Series, Metal Series, Toxic Glow

The good folks at Spy Monkey Creations were very kind in passing along samples of their newest weapon sets, which will go on sale at spymonkeycreations.ecrater.com today, Friday the 13th, at 3pm ET (12pm PT). Continue reading “Sponsored Review > Spy Monkey Armory: Solid State Series, Metal Series, Toxic Glow”

Spy Monkey Armory Series 1 Goes On Sale Today at 3pm ET

Just a reminder, the Spy Monkey Armory Series 1 will be on sale exclusively at www.spymonkeycreations.ecrater.com at $20 per set/colorway starting at 12pm Pacific Time (3pm ET) today. Be sure to check out my review, and also check out the neat designs Matt Doughty of Onell Design created with them.

Some notes from SMC:

PayPal will be our exclusive payment provider. We will no longer be accepting checks or money orders.

Shipping costs:

Domestic USA:
– 1 or 2 sets ship for $2.82 via First Class Mail
– 3-6 sets ship for $5.15 via USPS Priority Mail
Small Flat Rate Box
– More than 6 sets ship for $10.85 via USPS Priority Mail
Medium Flat Rate Box
Canada and Mexico:
– Up to 6 sets ship for $12.95 via USPS Priority Mail Intl.
Small Flat Rate Box
– More than 6 sets ship for $32.95 via USPS Priority Mail Intl.
Medium Flat Rate Box
International:
– Up to 6 sets ship for $16.95 via USPS Priority Mail Intl.
Small Flat Rate Box
– More than 6 sets ship for $47.95 via USPS Priority Mail Intl.
Medium Flat Rate Box
We are charging the exact shipping rates provided by PayPal from the USPS, and tried to go with the most cost effective shipping methods available. We wanted to add a low cost shipping option for small International orders however our current store and payment set up does not allow for that. We will continue to explore shipping options as we grow and will do our best to give our customers the best options available to us.

A Few More Spy Monkey Armory Pics

I didn’t even realize that the Spy Monkey Armory came with a plug that could be used on Roboto, Trap Jaw and Hurricane Hordak until after I’d taken most of my photos for my review, so here are a few new ones.

One important thing to note is that the plug itself (which is larger than the standard Glyos plug) doesn’t have to be plugged in to the dome-shaped part; it’s removable, with a Glyos Fit Function plug on the other side.

I really like the lightsaber-style effect you get with the translucent blue blade for Trap Jaw.

Featured Review > Spy Monkey Armory Series 1 (Spy Monkey Creations)

Full disclosure: this review will not be entirely objective, because I consider the SMC folks to be my friends. After all, they created both the Dread Axe of Darkness and the Sword of Ages as exclusives for PGPoA.

Fortunately, they’ve created such an incredibly awesome product that I feel no guilt in my enthusiasm.

Up until now, SMC’s accessories have always been produced on a very small scale using resin. The toys were great, but the production runs were small and expensive. But that’s all changed. SMC Series 1 was produced in a factory using durable PVC plastic to create a professional-looking product. Continue reading “Featured Review > Spy Monkey Armory Series 1 (Spy Monkey Creations)”